Titans capture AFC’s No.1 seed with 28-25 win over Texans

While other teams open playoff action next weekend, the Titans will have the weekend off.
Tennessee Titans wide receiver Julio Jones (2) celebrates his touchdown with teammates during...
Tennessee Titans wide receiver Julio Jones (2) celebrates his touchdown with teammates during the second half of an NFL football game against the Houston Texans, Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)(Eric Christian Smith | AP)
Published: Jan. 9, 2022 at 4:17 PM EST
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - AFC South champs. ✅

No.1 seed in the AFC. ✅.

Now, it’s on to the playoffs for the Tennessee Titans, who took care of business with a 28-25 win over the Texans before a crowd dominated by Titans fans at NRG Stadium.

The win gave the franchise its first 12-win season for the since 2008, when those Titans went 13-3.

The win also gave the Titans a 5-1 division record for the second straight year.

Most importantly, the win gave the Titans the No.1 seed in the AFC – and a first-round playoff bye.

While other teams open playoff action next weekend, the Titans will have the weekend off.

They’ll play the weekend of January 22-23 at Nissan Stadium vs an opponent to be determined.

Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill led the way, as he threw three touchdown passes in the first half.

Tannehill’s biggest touchdown pass came in the fourth quarter, however, when he connected with receiver Julio Jones for a three-yard touchdown to give the Titans a 28-18 lead with seven minutes left. It capped an eight-play, 75-yard scoring drive that came after the Texans had scored 18 straight second half points.

Tannehill escaped a sack, and connected with receiver Nick Westbrook-Ikhine for a 36-yard gain, to jumpstart the drive when it looked like disaster was unfolding on third down.

But the Texans didn’t fold, as quarterback Davis Mills connected with receiver Danny Ammendola for a 26-yard touchdown to make it 28-25 with 4:04 left.

Then, the Titans held on.

The Titans were slow out of the starting gate, and they found themselves in a scoreless tie with the Texans at the end of the first quarter after a missed field goal by kicker Randy Bullock from 42 yards out.

But the Titans got off the mat in the second quarter, when they scored three touchdowns while taking a commanding lead.

A five-yard touchdown pass from Tannehill to tight end Anthony Firkser capped an 11-play, 94-yard drive to give the Titans a 7-0 lead.

After an impressive defensive series that included four tackles for a loss on five plays, the Titans got the ball back, and went to work again. A nine-play, 85-yard drive was capped off with a 14-yard touchdown pass from Tannehill to receiver A.J. Brown, which made it 14-0 with 1:34 left in the first half.

After another defensive stop, a four-yard touchdown pass from Tannehill to Nick Westbrook-Ikhine made it 21-0 Titans just 11 seconds before halftime.

The Titans were dominant on defense.

The Texans managed just nine yards on 11 rushing attempts in the first half, when they managed just four first downs and 67 yards of offense.

The Texans showed some life in the third quarter, however, as they cut the lead to 21-10 on a 28-yard touchdown pass from Mills to receiver Chris Moore, and a 31-yard field goal by kicker Ka’imi Fairbairn.

Things then got serious in the fourth quarter, as the Texans cut the lead to 21-18 on a seven-yard touchdown pass from Mills to Danny Amendola, and the subsequent two-point conversion, with 11:40.

Then came the late-game drama, some anxious moments, and a celebration.

See ya in the playoffs at Nissan Stadium.

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